Fifth grade teacher Shayla Smith was one of many who were implicated in the Atlanta cheating scandal that was uncovered last year. Earlier this week, the fourth grade teacher who worked across the hall from Smith testified before a tribunal that she overheard Smith saying that she had to give her students the answers because they were “dumb as hell.” They probably were. That’s the nature of government education. It makes kids dumb. The back story into why so many Atlanta teachers and principals resorted to cheating highlights the entire “education” system’s failure (or success, depending on how you look at it).
Under Beverly Hall’s decade-long tenure as Atlanta School Superintendent, Atlanta test scores soared, graduations increased, more scholarships were awarded, funding for schools increased, more bonuses were distributed to teachers and principals and Hall herself even brought in over a half million dollars in bonuses for her job well done. She was continually lauded as an extremely successful official. She was considered the reason that Atlanta’s 50,000 students were all of a sudden doing so well. The Secretary of Education even hosted her at the White House.
But she was numbers-driven. And she was also known to be relentless, reclusive, inaccessible and a tyrant. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported:
For years, Beverly L. Hall, the former school superintendent [in Atlanta], ruled by fear. Principals were told that if state test scores did not go up enough, they would be fired — and 90 percent of them were removed in the decade of Dr. Hall’s reign. Underlings were humiliated during rallies at the Georgia Dome. Dr. Hall permitted principals with the highest test scores to sit up front near her, while sticking those with the lowest scores off to the side, in the bleachers. She was chauffeured around the city, often with an entourage of aides and security guards. When she spoke publicly, questions had to be submitted beforehand for screening. “She was known as the queen in her ivory tower,” said Verdaillia Turner, president of the Atlanta teachers’ union.
And therein lies the reason that U.S. history’s largest cheating scandal happened. Hall required perfect adherence to her impossible standards. All she cared about was numbers so that she would get more fame and fortune. It’s no wonder teachers and principals resorted to cheating. They felt they had no choice. They feared for their jobs…and they probably wanted bonuses of their own and recognition from Hall herself. Granted, cheating probably wasn’t the best option if they were concerned about job security.
Government schools in general make kids dumb. Cheating was really the only way to earn favor in the eyes of the harsh school superintendent because government-educated kids can barely read as it is. The teachers and principals were going to get fired if their students didn’t test well, and now they’re getting fired for cheating, and the students aren’t any smarter as a result.
Christian rap artist Shai Linne concluded his song “School Daze” with “A school like this just can’t be what you had intended. And since I can’t see it being built up from the ground…Therefore, my recommendation is to shut it down.”
Our government riddled with corruption and cheating thinks that it can educate our kids better than we can. Now that’s “dumb as hell.”